Fishing on Lake Lincoln
Flaky Vaughn with a prized bass. Shirley Paton with white perch from
The extraordinary heat of this summer, among other things, is driving fish into deeper cool waters, but they’re still biting if you’re fishing at the right time and place say two veteran Lake Lincoln fishermen undiscouraged by new demands of their sport caused by high water temperatures.
Luther (Flaky) Vaughn and his buddy Shirley Paton watched Lake Lincoln being built and have been fishing there since it opened in 1984. They say you can catch your fair share of fish when surface waters are cool in the mornings and evenings, but the real secret of successful fishing is what it has always been: patience.
You can find 65-year-old Flaky on Lake Lincoln just about every day now that he has retired from logging. He lives close to the Co-Lin campus, is up early and on the lake fishing primarily for bass when the surface waters are cool. “I’m there from about 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.,” he says. “I want bass, but I’ll take the brim, catfish and crappie that populate the lake as well. He fishes off the bridge and piers at the lake with artificial bait.
Paton isn’t on the lake as often as his Flaky – maybe once or twice a week. At 77 years old, he mows lawns for people even after his retirement as a manufacturing plant supervisor. His favorite fishing spot is the island in the lake. He also fishes from a boat. Living just around the corner from the lake, he gets there early in the mornings on his fishing days, too. “I fish for anything but bass, he says. “I don’t like the heavy duty lines required for bass fishing. To lure his catch, he uses minnows and worms, which he buys at the Uncle Ray’s bait shop that services Lake Lincoln fishermen.
Catching and eating fish is a family affair for Flaky and Paton, and their wives enjoy fishing with them. Flaky does all the cooking at his home, including the preparation of the fish he catches. Paton, on the other hand, says he just eats and lets his wife prepare and cook his catch.
Both Flaky and Paton have fished at nearby waterways in Pike and Franklin Counties, but Lake Lincoln is their favorite place. Flaky proudly claims the title “Mr. Lake Lincoln’ given to him by fellow fishermen.
On good fishing days, 15 to 20 fishermen, on average, will join Flaky and Paton, says Lake Lincoln maintenance supervisor and acting site manager Randy Chance. Bass, catfish, brim, white perch and striped bass thrive in Lake Lincoln’s waters, which were last stocked in 2008, he says. Ford Creek waters from the Pearl River by way of the Little Bahalia Creek feed Lake Lincoln’s 550 acres, and is the pathway for the 10 to 15 alligators that also make their home there, he adds.